An Exploration Of The Relationship Between Stress As Measured By Daily Crisis And Disaster Preparedness Among Individuals Living In Two Southern Black-Belt Counties
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentPublic Health and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Public Health
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With the recent increase in disasters occurring throughout the country, disaster preparedness is becoming a major focal point. Studies conclude that minorities and low income groups continue to be least prepared for disasters and other public health emergencies. Researchers, perplexed by such findings, continue to make efforts to identify solid reasons for why they remain unprepared; however, few have explored how stress affects preparedness behavior among these groups. Based on secondary, cross-sectional data taken from the 400 participants of the 2008-2009 Daily Crisis Study, this study determines (1) if there is a relationship between daily crisis and preparedness and (2) how knowledge, experience, and risk perception impact the relationship. Daily crisis is measured using an abbreviated version of the crisis scale used in the Daily Crisis Study, while preparedness is measured using a modified version of Citizen Corps' Public Readiness Index. Binomial logistic regression analyses are used to test each hypothesis. A statistically significant and positive linear relationship exists between daily crisis and preparedness in that individuals with high daily crisis scores were less likely to be prepared. The associations between knowledge, risk perception, and preparedness were found to be insignificant and thus have no real effects on the relationship between daily crisis and preparedness. Major consideration should be given to how daily crisis impacts individual preparedness levels. Due to the very limited pool of literature surrounding the daily crisis/preparedness relationship, a replication of the original study and/or creation of similar studies that include daily crisis measures should be performed to determine if the study findings hold true for people who reside in other black-belt and non black-belt counties.